June 23, 2015

What a Weekend...

Nathan had been looking forward to his birthday party for months. Months of planning and anticipating. Thankfully, the big day did not disappoint. We settled on the Star Wars theme, rented a bounce house, made light sabres out of pool noodles, decided on an R2-D2 craft, and chose the flavors of ice cream in the ice cream cake. Aside from a little cake drama in the morning (they told me they didn't have it, leading us to scramble and stress as we tried to figure out an alternative before they called to tell me they found it in the back of the freezer...gah!), everything went great. The weather was clear, and the boys had a blast. 

All the boys wanted to check out the softball game taking place in the field behind our house.

Adorable R2-D2s

And because we had the bounce house all day, we decided to take full advantage of it. We invited some friends over with their kids to enjoy an "after-party". We had dinner together, and the kids played on the bounce house and tried out Nathan's birthday presents. It was one of those days when life seems too good, too happy, and I almost feel a little guilty for it. We'll keep trying to have as many of those days as possible.

Playing with Nathan's wubble bubble ball

June 18, 2015

Menu of the Week

I haven't done a menu post in quite a while. This is largely due to the fact that I haven't tried many new recipes this year. I'm starting to get my groove back, though, and while I will continue to rely on our standard go-to meals, I like incorporating a new dish every now and then as well. 

Here are a few of the recipes we've enjoyed recently. Most are ones we've tried before, with a new one thrown in for good measure.

Pasta and Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese - I left the radicchio out of this, because who really likes radicchio? I also forgot the artichoke hearts, which I'm sure would've made a nice addition. I added a yellow squash and more pepper, and it was good. This is more of an "inspiration" recipe, though - not really one I'd ever follow to the letter. But grilled vegetables (whatever you have), pasta, and goat cheese will always be a good combination.

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie - This is one of my favorites. The boys always complain when I tell them what's for dinner, and then they clean their plates. It happens that way sometimes. The only negative about this dish is that it requires my handling a jalapeno, and apparently I can't do that without getting it on my fingers and then rubbing my eyes and going blind for a while. Still, totally worth it.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken, Corn, Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese - Another summer favorite. I enjoy without chicken, and we leave the arugula out for the boys. Sometimes dinners must be deconstructed to each diner's tastes, and I'm okay with this if it means I can still eat big salads for dinner. *NOTE:  This is what I put on the menu, but for some reason, I didn't make it happen. I opted for "that chicken" from Dinner: A Love Story, corn on the cob, and sauteed kale. I had all that corn, and I could tell the boys wanted to have it on the cob this time.

Shrimp Kebabs with Lemon and Cilantro, Rice, Green Beans - Super easy and fast. A perfect weeknight dinner, especially when Kevin is out of town and can't complain about having shrimp for dinner. 

Corn Chowder with Zucchini and Orzo - This is the new recipe of the week.  There are good news and bad news here. The bad news is that it was somewhat messy to make and rather bland. Perhaps I didn't quite get enough corn off my cobs, but it turned out pretty thin. I replaced half of the water with vegetable broth, and yet I still had to add a good amount of salt and pepper. The good news? It's healthy, and the boys inhaled it, cleaning their bowls without a fuss. I probably won't make it again, but it was worth it this time!

Masterpiece Wall...

I know - I should've taken the picture on a sunny day, but I'm impatient!

When we renovated our kitchen, we put in a little eating area, and the wall above the table is reserved for handmade art. As we reach the end of the school year, we've had the opportunity to bring home all the boys' work and art. One of my favorite things to do is go through their portfolios and pick out a few favorites to display on our art wall.  This year's collection is so fabulous.

Here's what it looked like the first year. I love looking back at it. I had forgotten about the Arc de Triomphe - one of my all-time favorites and a beautiful memento from a visit to Paris. One entitled "Yellow". And that pirate ship! Classic. This year's display includes a wonderful sunflower drawing by Nathan, a desert scene by Aaron, and other gorgeous pieces. They love the end product almost as much as I do.  

June 15, 2015

Wide Open Weekend...

We looked towards a weekend with nothing planned. Soccer Saturday morning, but that was it. I was looking forward to it, but I was also feeling that I should be doing more to make plans. This is what ended up happening...

After working Friday morning, I spent a couple hours at end of year parties at school. Then my husband texted and said that we could use his company's Red Sox tickets for that night. They are great seats, and we had talked before about how cool it would be to be able to take the boys one day. That day had come, and we jumped at the chance. We went early to have dinner and watch batting practice, and the boys were actually sad to leave before the game ended. It was a late night for them, but it was totally worth it.

Saturday morning included Nathan's last day of soccer, and I think we are all a little sad that the season has ended so soon. He had so much fun with it. Out to a cafe for breakfast, a visit to the farmer's market, lunch and hanging out at home, including more soccer in the yard. I wore myself out after about 45 minutes and wondered how they can run constantly for so long. I decided my toes needed to be dressed up before our upcoming beach trip, so I popped out for a pedicure - why not? Saturday night was movie night - we watched "Wild", which I really liked. 

Sunday...We all slept in! I was originally hoping to join free yoga on the common that morning, but when the boys didn't get out of bed until 9:30 (!), I decided a lazy Sunday morning was more in order. We lounged and ate pancakes. Our outing of the day was to a local farm for strawberry-picking. As we arrived home, the boys were hot and complaining about wanting to go somewhere they could swim, and I could feel the "I'm bored!" comments coming. Instead, they asked to fill up our little kiddie pool and proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon playing various yard games and not complaining at all! (Well, there may have been a few "he stole my ball!" and "he pushed me!" moments, but all in all, it was a pretty peaceful afternoon.) We ate dinner outside while the little leaguers played beside us.

It was a lovely, fun, and full go-with-the-flow weekend. I'm happy for it. I've been feeling a little guilty about the fact that the boys will be in camp for so much of the summer. I want them to feel those wide open and carefree days of Summer. So maybe it's good to leave some of that unstructured time for the weekends, and we can all refresh and relax together. 

June 8, 2015

A New Site Design and a Weekend...

Hi! Well, I finally got around to updating the blog design. Thanks to Danielle for making it ridiculously easy, and of course now I'm wondering why I didn't do it sooner. It's clean and simple, I love it, and it has made this space even more of a happy place for me. What do you think?

We had a nice weekend at home. Soccer, yard work, date night (we went out for tapas and saw Pitch Perfect 2 - not quite as good as the first, but still funny and great), sleeping in (the boys slept until after 9 on Sunday!), cleaning, and a canoe ride. Our neighbors were nice enough to let us borrow their canoe on Sunday. It was the perfect day for a ride on the river, and now I have the satisfaction of having sore biceps. Good stuff all around.

June 5, 2015

Brandi Carlile - Wherever Is Your Heart

A little music for your Friday. Brandi Carlile is so incredibly talented, and I love her music. I'm very much looking forward to seeing her in Newport next month. If you like, check out this performance with The Avett Brothers on Dave Letterman - it made me smile huge. And if you like all that, here's a live performance on KEXP - seriously, she's so freakin' good. 

June 4, 2015

A Few Things...

My fabulous cousin Tiffany gave a Ted talk, and it's finally online! Check it out and be inspired. She's amazing.

Oh my gosh this episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee cracked me up!

I'm bookmarking this for future gift ideas. How fun would it be to get an assortment of awesome gelato delivered to your door?

This might be the longest post ever, but the pictures are awesome, and it was like visiting Amsterdam all over again.

The Problem with Kindergarten.  As my youngest is finishing his first year of school, I am so grateful to his wonderful teacher for shielding him as much as possible from the many ways that kindergarten has changed over the years. It makes me sad to think of 5 and 6-year-olds feeling bad about not being able to read yet or not liking school. Our awesome teacher is retiring this year, partially because she has become more and more frustrated by the increased standards given to kindergarteners. I'm so happy that both of my boys got to learn from her.

This is a long but thought-provoking article, written by one of my favorites, Dr. Atul Gawande. No matter what you do for a living, it's worth thinking about how to be the very best at it.

A great interview with Cameron Crowe.  Some of his movies are among my favorites of all-time, and I love how he incorporates music into his stories. I'm disappointed to see generally negative reviews about his new movie, Aloha, since I had been looking forward to it. (Of course I'll still see it anyway.) Regardless, I did enjoy this interview.

This post by Sheryl Sanberg made me cry. I'm inspired by her strength and ability to share her feelings so eloquently with the world.

June 3, 2015

Recently Read

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. This is just as suspenseful and engaging as you've no doubt already heard. It definitely has a "Gone Girl" vibe. Very unlikable characters, but I was still hooked. I loved it, and Kevin did as well.

Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life, by Stewart Friedman.  Friedman analyzes six highly successful people - including Michelle Obama, Julie Foudy, and Bruce Springsteen - and identifies some of their key traits and the strategies they utilize in their lives. The book was only okay overall, but a few of the overall points did sink in. Largely, the idea of integrating your life and not trying to segregate "work" from "life". Since having kids, I've always tried to keep a very firm dividing line between work and home. Living that way, I realize that it only magnifies the feeling that I'm somehow wasting the time I spend at work. It's not good. Instead, if you approach work as being part of your life, and working to get the important things out of it, it becomes so much more rewarding. For example, I want to volunteer more. Instead of viewing this as something outside of work that I need to make time for, I now work for a company that offers many opportunities to volunteer in the community. It's a bonus at work and in life.

The Bone Clocks, by David Mitchell.  David Mitchell is a fascinating author. I am never sure how to summarize his books, because they are so incredibly complex, but I love them. The Bone Clocks was no exception. It is somewhat similar in structure to Cloud Atlas, in that it is divided into six stories, each told from a different character's point of view. It has an element of the supernatural included, which is interesting and serves to support the theme of mortality, although the climax of that part of the book was the least satisfying for me. The overriding story arch follows the life of one woman, and it was her story that was the most interesting to me.

June 2, 2015

Fun Photos and My First Giveaway!

I'm not one who has a ton of family pictures on the walls. I have a gallery wall up our staircase, and we have a handful of special family photos framed here and there. I see my kids and my husband every day, so I don't feel the need to display pictures everywhere.

That said, I always appreciate walking through people's houses and looking at all their pictures. Not just the big occasions, like weddings, but also the everyday moments and milestones. I also love flipping through the images on my phone from time to time, and very often I'd think - what am I going to do with all these? I still make and print out an annual family photo album, and I am not afraid to incorporate instagram pictures as well as those from our nice camera, but I started to love the idea of finding a way of capturing those everyday moments in some tangible way.

Enter CanvasPop! I used their site to create a collage of my favorite Instagram pictures over the past year, and I love it. It was so easy to make, and now I have this fun collection of memories to keep on display. I'm still deciding where to put it, but I'm already thinking I may have to do this again next year. It's such a fun way of seeing those fun everyday-but-still-so-special moments and keeping them fresh in my memory. 

Would you love one too? CanvasPop has graciously offered one of my readers a 16X20 print with a .75 inch frame and free shipping! (And since there aren't a ton of you out there, your chances are really good!) To enter, simply leave a comment on this post - easy peasy! I'll pick a winner by June 10th, 2015. Shipping is limited to US and Canada.

If you don't win, or you want to do your own thing, they're giving all my fabulous readers a very generous 35% off one order with the code MARYLOVES35 from now through July 30th, 2015*.

Isn't that cool? It's a really good reason to look through all those photos stuck on your phone and decide to do something with them already!

*valid for orders shipping within the US and Canada; cannot be combined with other discounts or promo codes.

May 29, 2015

On My Mind...

There are times when I feel like life is flying by, and I find it difficult to slow things down so that I can fully appreciate the moments. Everything is good, we're plugging along...working, playing, getting things done, even planning ahead...but then I look up and weeks have passed! This blog has been one of the ways that I've actively recorded some of my thoughts along with life's updates, and I've been missing it. 

I think I need to pull out my camera again, too. iPhone pictures are pretty good, but I've been putting more effort into keeping the phone out of reach. If I use it to take a picture, I somehow can't put it down without quickly checking email. As if I'll miss something urgent. It's a weird compulsion. There is definitely a part of me that wishes I could go back to having a phone that was just a phone. I suppose we can't move backwards, though, can we?  

I have become self-conscious about my age. This is difficult for me to admit, since I've always been a pretty confident adult. At least once I got through those awfully insecure teenage years. My adjustment back to working life has brought with it a recognition of my age, which is magnified in relation to the young people with whom I find myself working. Age also equals wisdom and experience, and I have noticed that I sometimes point out my years so that people are aware of that. The other day, I was at lunch with a handful of colleagues, and a few of the men - in their 20s and early 30s - were talking about their gray hairs. I made a comment that they shouldn't talk about that in front of a "gray lady". Now, I color my hair so there's no way they would know that I am gray, and why would I feel the need to point that out? It's as if I want everyone to know my age and respect my experience. It's a defense mechanism against feeling old? I have thought a lot about that this week, and this is a reminder for me:

This weekend includes soccer, and playdates and buying a new car. I am pretty excited about the car, so expect a picture. It's pretty. Speaking of pretty, remember the outfit I mentioned in my previous post? This is it, below, and I must say - I rocked it. Did I say I was feeling old? Whatever.

May 21, 2015

Taking Stock - May 2015

Watching:  The Mad Men finale. I loved it. The end of another era and such wonderful characters. Who didn't root for Peggy? I thought it was really well done.
Shopping:  For a new car.  Kevin was in a car accident last week, and our car was totaled. Of course I'm happy and grateful that nobody was hurt. Big giant bummer about the car, though.
Loving:  The warm days and cool nights. Sleeping with the windows open.
Eating:  It's still asparagus season! I'm thinking I need to make something with strawberries for this weekend's cookout. Maybe one of my awesome strawberry-almond tarts? I haven't made one of those in a while, and I do love love love them.
Listening: I'm really digging Haunt the House. And the new Mumford & Sons. It's harder, edgier, more of a rock album...and it's good.
ReadingThe Bone Clocksby David Mitchell. His books make my head hurt, but I absolutely love them.
Wanting:  My house to clean and tidy itself. There's so much dirt and sand and spiders and ants this time of year. Ew!
Enjoying:  Little league baseball and soccer. I love watching my boys play. 
Thinking: My attention span is not what it used to be. Focus. Thought. It's all somehow harder, and I'm thinking the internet is at least partially to blame. I've been cutting back, as you can clearly see based on the frequency of my blog posts lately. More importantly, I'm cutting back on surfing/Instagram/FB/news. 
Appreciating:  My new sun hat - I had been searching for one for forever. I didn't get it in time for the Dominican Republic, but I'll have it for future beach trips.  
Discovering:  A somewhat new style emerging in my closet. Skinny jeans/pants with tunics or other long blouses/sweaters. Add cute boots, and I feel pretty good!  Kevin doesn't appreciate my new denim shirt, and I'll admit it's out of my usual style, but I got about 10 compliments on it the first day I wore it. It's good to change things up every now and then. (This coming from the girl who has never had a different hair style!)
Attending:  Aaron's spring piano recital. He worked so hard and learned some difficult songs - he's already better than I am (not saying much, but still), and he's so proud. I am too.
Working:  To get the yard and garden in shape. We spent all day Sunday spreading mulch. I want to get a few big pots of vegetables planted, just to have a little taste of a garden, since the real thing isn't going to happen this year. 
Hugging:  My boys.  All the time. One day they're going to get sick of it. Not yet, though. Not yet.
Feeling:  Good, overall. I'm still getting my footing at my current work project, but it's going okay so far. It will be a busy summer, but full of work and fun and family and life. Broken car aside, all is well.

This was my favorite part of the second-to-last episode. Go Peggy!

May 6, 2015

Spring Life...

Our house is completely surrounded by beautiful, colorful groups of tulips, and they make me smile every time I pull into the driveway. Many of the bulbs were souvenirs from last summer's visit to Amsterdam - what a lovely memento! We don't get to experience the awesomeness of tulip season in The Netherlands, but I'm so happy we brought some of that awesomeness home with us. 

Work has calmed down for a while now, and I've had a really nice opportunity to catch up on all sorts of items on my personal to-do list. It's good to feel in control. I found out I will be staffed at the same client through the end of the year, and I'm happy - with the client, the commute, the stability...all good things. 

We have more little house projects underway, as always. I laugh every time my husband talks about the day the house is "done". What does done mean? There will always be something - such is the life of a house owner, especially when that house is old! 

Spring has not only brought flowers, but also the start of soccer and baseball seasons. My boys are so excited and happy to be members of a team, to be learning and practicing, and to be having fun. And I am so happy to watch them! I never had the opportunity to be a part of a team as a kid, and I do think it's such a wonderful way to learn how to win and lose, grow in different areas of life, celebrate sportsmanship, and most importantly, make friends. 

Next year Aaron will be playing his games in the Little League fields behind our house - not only will it be convenient, but it will be so much fun. The other night, they wandered over to hang out with friends who were watching siblings play, and as I looked around at the group of parents and neighbors and kids, I felt really grateful for where we live. It's a community in the best sense of the word.  

The summer is mostly planned, although there are a few open weekends left. For one of our big trips, we'll be spending a week on Cape Cod this year instead of visiting our beloved Maine. I will miss Maine, and the pool, but maybe the water will be just a tad warmer? We'll also spend another week at Lake Ontario with family - my sister and her family will be with us for two weeks. It's going to be busy and fabulous and it's going to go by way too fast. They always do. 

But before I start to lament the briefness of Summer, let me first savor each beautiful second of Spring! 

April 29, 2015

The Dominican Republic

We spent three fabulous nights in paradise. It was a very long way to travel for just a few days, but it was totally worth it. The weather was spectacular, the sun was hot, the pools were refreshing, the people were friendly, the beach was gorgeous, the waves were fun, the drinks were plentiful. I even finished my book! 

A few highlights:  
- Reading under one of those cabanas shown above while the boys played in the water
- Riding waves on a boogie board (I hadn't done that in years!)
- Drinking pina coladas and other tropical concoctions
- Dining at a Japanese restaurant (they cooked in front of us, the boys were entertained, and the food was good)
- Enjoying a bottle of champagne in our room while the boys watched a movie (Hey, it was all-inclusive!)
- Watching the boys swim and play in the pools mostly independently, except when we wanted to go in and play too
- Eating at the dessert buffet

The obligatory "walking into the sea" picture

April 28, 2015

What I Did on Monday...

The Dominican Republic is so beautiful. We came home on Sunday and jumped right back into our normal routine; except Kevin had to go to San Francisco this week, so I'm on my own. My first day back looked like this:
  • Did 10 minutes of yoga
  • Took a shower, got dressed and ready for work
  • Put a load of laundry in the washer
  • Woke the boys
  • Made breakfast
  • Made lunches
  • Put the load of laundry in the dryer
  • Took the boys to school
  • Drove into the city for work
  • Worked
  • Loaded my car with donations from a clothing drive I organized
  • Delivered the clothing to a local charity
  • Ate lunch
  • Worked some more
  • Commuted back home
  • Got the boys ready to go to baseball practice
  • Attended baseball practice (helped a bit with drills and then played soccer with Nathan while Aaron practiced with his team)
  • Took the boys to a sporting goods store to pick up Nathan's soccer uniform and ball
  • Bought other necessary baseball/soccer gear, including new cleats for both
  • Had dinner at a pizza shop on the way home
  • Got the boys ready for bed
  • Watched "A Good Wife" while folding laundry
  • Read my book for 15 minutes before falling asleep
That's a full day!

April 22, 2015

Taking Stock - April 2015

Watching:  The Americans. Dark and twisted, but such a great show. Fascinating to see a dramatic show set in the 1980s, too.  Oh and The Imitation Game - have you seen it?  So good. So sad too, though.
Eating:  Asparagus. It's not quite time for asparagus here in New England, but I can't wait, so we've already been eating lots. This past weekend we threw a bunch on the grill - yum.
Loving:  Yoga. I'm in a good rhythm right now, and it feels great, body and mind.
Savoring:  Every sunny day. It's amazing how much I appreciate the warmth of sunshine after enduring this winter.
Listening: To Brandi Carlile's latest album - she's going to be at Newport this year. Also really loving Haunt the House, a relatively recent discovery.
Anticipating: Summer! And all it brings, including visits with my family, who I really do not see enough.
Reading:  Leading the Life You Want.  As I've mentioned, I'm trying to incorporate more non-fiction into my reading list. Self-improvement and all that.
Wanting:  The big crack in my kitchen floor to magically disappear.
Enjoying:  The sounds of baseball from our back yard. I love where we live.
Wondering:  Where my next job assignment will be, and if I will like it, and if it will be manageable, and...
Realizing:  The downside of consulting is the uncertainty.
Feeling: Confident that I am working for the right company and happy that I have the opportunity to work with cool and talented people.
Hoping: Our neighbor will share some of her garden with us again this year. I haven't been able to bring it up yet, and I'm afraid we might not get to have a garden this summer.
Thinking: We can always at least put together a planter garden somewhere - some big pots of tomatoes and carrots and eggplants or something. We can be creative and come up with something.
Noticing:  The house is dirty. We let our housecleaner go a couple months ago. I've been trying - and failing - to keep up with it myself. Time to admit defeat and hire more help.
Laughing:  At my boys. They are a constant source of entertainment.
Wishing:  I had purchased a sun hat a month ago - every one I like is already sold out.  Booo.
Packing:  My new bikini, sunscreen, and a new book. We're going on a trip tomorrow!  Yay!

April 21, 2015

Recently Read

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides.
This was recommended to me years ago, and I finally picked it up when I saw it at the library. I had no idea what the book was about when I picked it up, and I often like it better that way. This is an epic book, telling the story of three generations of a Greek family, ultimately leading to the story of the main character and narrator, Cal. The family and social history of the story is interesting, from the grandparents in Greece, their love story and journey to America; to the parent's love story and time of social unrest in Detroit; to the journey of self-discovery made by Calliope/Cal. It's a long one, and I admit getting a little impatient during the first two generations, but it's fascinating and definitely worthwhile.

The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, by Ron Lieber.
I've decided to add more non-fiction to my reading list. There is always room for improvement, in all areas of life. I had seen a couple recommendations of this book, and its topic is definitely one that is top of mind. Kevin and I talk very often about how good our boys have it and how we want to make sure they recognize that. I liked this book - it's a fast read, and although it contains a lot of practical ideas; most of them are shared through example stories, so the reader can decide what may work best for them.  The subtitle is important, since the primary focus of the book is money. I picked up several new ideas (e.g., my boys now have bigger allowances, with contributions going into spend/save/give jars), reinforced thoughts I already had (e.g., allowance is not tied to chores), and started thinking forward about how we might want to handle certain situations in the future (e.g., how much of their college education do we want them to be responsible for?).

The Husband's Secret, by Liane Moriarty.
This was a fast, easy, and entertaining read. I did struggle a little in the first few chapters of the book,
keeping all the characters straight; but after that I flew. This would be a great book for vacation or traveling. I've heard good things about this author's other books as well, so I will definitely pick up more.

April 20, 2015

A Few Things...

I know, I know...I haven't posted here in so long. I am definitely out of practice, and the longer I go without posting here, the harder it is to do for whatever reason. I will find my rhythm again, though. For now, I thought I'd share some of the links I've bookmarked recently. 

Happy Patriot's Day!  Today is the Boston Marathon, Patriot's Day, the unofficial start of Spring in New England, a morning Red Sox game, a vacation day for most...and even though it is cold and rainy today, it's still one of the most beautiful days of the year. 

Sara's on Design Mom!

Exhaustion is not a status symbol.  No it is not. Taking breaks, acknowledging your accomplishments, setting boundaries...these are good things!

What ISIS really wants.  This article made my head hurt, but I do try to read things that make my head hurt from time to time. I may have to go back and re-read this one - it's so difficult to get my head around it all!

How one stupid tweet ruined Justine Sacco's life.  An incredibly important article for our time. When the time comes for my boys to start their internet life, I hope I can make sure they understand the responsibility that comes with it.

A growing divide.  This article made me sad and frustrated. What else can we do to help?

Another post by my cousin Krista, this time reflecting on her own childhood experience with divorce.  It is very similar to my own, and I appreciate her honesty, as always.

This article on parenting cracked me up.  It's so refreshing.

Essential movies your child must see before they turn 13.  I'm so excited to share more of these classics with my kids.

I'm intrigued by this app and may start monitoring my own phone use. I definitely want to do
what this author did and place limits on when and how I use my phone. I am so sensitive to the fact that my boys are always watching me.

An interesting Harvard Business Review article about navigating the tradeoffs in a dual-career marriage.

Meals like this are probably my favorite part of Spring.

April 3, 2015

Let's move on...

source unknown, but this picture makes me happy

Hi! It's been a while, and I've missed this space. It's been a rough couple of weeks, although I don't particularly feel like listing out the reasons why.

My husband comes home at the end of every day and needs to talk. He wants to debrief about his day, especially if it was a difficult one. He needs to hash it out and unload. I am the opposite. I don't like to bring work home, and I mentally shift gears once I leave the office. If I've had a hard day, that's all the more reason for me to leave work behind and focus on other things. This can be an area of contention between us, as sometimes I don't want to listen to his end-of-day dump; and sometimes if I say I had a bad day, he wants me to talk about it! We've learned to compromise over the years and recognize these differences in each other. 

These past few weeks have been difficult for both of us, so there's been a lot of talking and not-talking, but mostly we've just been busy and working way too much. Not much balance. I'm ready to look forward.

And so, we enter April. April! Yay! We survived March. April is my least favorite month of the year, but at least I didn't have to wear gloves this morning. I will probably have my rain boots on every day this week, but that's okay. Rain will eventually wash the snow away (one day!) and bring flowers (I can see the tips of tulips!). We also have a trip planned for the end of the month to look forward to. 

Other things that got me out of my funk: yoga, bright yellow tulips, reigniting after-dinner dance parties, ice cream (my current favorite flavor, especially when paired with this), a brunch with friends, and a new dress that I plan to wear on vacation and all summer long.   

March 20, 2015

I'm Not Gonna Lie...

This week has thoroughly and completely kicked my ass. I plan to enjoy some sleep and some basketball this weekend and look forward to brighter days ahead. 

March 9, 2015

Weekend Recap and Making Plans...

I was recently reminded about Waterlogue.  So fun, and yes my house still looks like this. It's supposed to be relatively warm this week, so I expect the mounds will start to get smaller, gradually. We set our clocks forward over the weekend, and it was light outside as we ate dinner last night. Summer is coming!

I had a pedicure and lunch with a friend of mine over the weekend. We've been friends for over 15 years now - long enough to have "do you remember when?" conversations, which is always fun. She's also one of those friends that can really make me laugh - as in, really belly-laugh. It feels so good to do that. We should all do it more. She has three (!) boys now, and she handles everything with such grace; I will forever and always be in awe of her. I adore having such inspiring and uplifting friends in my life. 

The boys were both invited to a birthday party on Saturday evening. A movie-themed party at their house, which is just genius. Kevin and I enjoyed a free date-night, going out to dinner at a new Spanish restaurant in town. On Sunday, we split up - Kevin and Aaron got one last day of skiing in, and Nathan and I puttered around the house, cleaning and laundry and a trip to the grocery store. As annoying as those tasks are, I must admit I had a really nice time hanging out with my little helper all day. We mixed in some coloring and baking to increase the fun factor. (We used up our overripe bananas the way we always do. These banana bars are soooooo good!)

Kevin's 40th birthday is next month - finally, it's his turn! We booked a long weekend away to celebrate, and although we were originally intending it to be a kid-free vacation, Kevin decided that he wanted the kids to have a break from the cold as well. So we will all be heading to the Dominican Republic for a few days. I can't wait! I even bought a new bathing suit and tried it on and didn't cringe at the mirror. (JCrew bathing suits never fail me.) I can't wait to lounge in the shade while the boys play in the pool or the sea. As I look outside at the melting snow, I will be looking forward to this...

From snow and mud to this.  Can't wait!  Picture via here.


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